Day 5-14 postpartum: What to expect

As I mentioned in the Day 1-5 postpartum blog, a healthy, well supported postpartum period can be the difference between, being able to successfully breastfeed/chestfeed, going back to feeling like yourself again, getting back into an exercise routine, and even being able to conceive another child in the future. Most importantly, a healthy, well supported postpartum period shouldn't be a privilege or a secret that only some people hear about. It is what I wish for for everyone, not just my patients.

Here are some tips and things to look out for between Day 5-14.
If you missed it, here is Part 1: What to expect Day 1-5

The day 5 hormone crash:
Remember those amazing hormones/endorphins I mentioned in the Day 1-5 postpartum blog? Well, they run out around day 5, leading to a crash that usually involves some tears (ok, lots of tears) and what is sometimes labelled ‘baby blues’. The good news is that this is usually just a one or two day adjustment. (If this does not go away however, or if it starts to worsen and affect your ability to care for yourself or the baby, I highly suggest letting your Midwife, GP or OB know.)

You may still hurt. 
It can be disheartening if over a week goes by and you still don't feel up for getting out of bed. This is NOT a sign that you are weak or even that something is terribly wrong. Everyone heals at different speeds. Listen to your body to know when it's ready to do more. 

Tips for this stage:

  • Talk about it: Mentioning what you are feeling to a close friend, or to your doctor or Midwife at your well baby visit is a great way to find out if what you are experiencing is something that could benefit from a little extra help or if you just need someone to listen as you process everything that you have just experienced.  
  • This isn’t permanent: Just know that this is temporary and be gentle with yourself. This stage will pass.
  • Keep visits short:  Keep visits under an hour and ideally, no more than 1 visit a day (COVID has essentially solved this issue). Make sure that you are in bed and resting between or even during the visit.
  • Activity: You can start moving around more. But I don’t suggest any big outings yet at this stage (like under a few blocks). No grocery shopping if you can avoid it! The easiest gage for knowing if you have pushed too much, is increased vaginal bleeding and a downward achy sensation in your uterus, incision or vulvar area. If you have had a c-section, tearing, varicosities or a hematoma, your recovery will take a little longer and you may not feel well enough to get out and move until at least 2-3 weeks in.
  • Lactation consultant: If you are still experiencing pain or struggling with breastfeeding, seeking support from a certified lactation consultant can make all the difference. The sooner you get the support, the greater your chance of success and a positive experience.
  • Pelvic floor physiotherapy: If you haven't already (and have coverage or the means to do so), I highly suggest booking a pelvic floor assessment for 6weeks postpartum. The physiotherapist will be able to assess and give you the green light regarding if your body is ready for exercise, or if you have some internal pelvic floor strengthening still to do.
  • Supplements: Remember those supplements you were so diligent with your whole pregnancy?... It’s time to get back on them. Taking a prenatal for at least 6 months postpartum, and longer if breastfeeding, will help ensure you get your vitamin and mineral stores back up to normal, and get you feeling strong and well as fast as possible. Include an omega fish oil with high DHA content.

Bonus tip: Wear ugly ratty pyjamas. I know it sounds weird, but if you look well, people around you will treat you as if you are completely well. Looking like ‘sh***’ is a great way to remind everyone that you have just been through a major event and that they should take care of you 🙂

There are a lot of wonderful parts to the first month with your new baby, but it isn’t all rainbows and lullabies. Remember that pushing too hard now may slow your recovery in the long run and could lead to messy complications. Take your time, rest, ask for help; This is just the beginning of a very long journey into parenthood.

Dr. Emilie Salomons Dr. TCM, FABORM, OBAAM, Doula.

Clinic & Contact

Oak Integrative Health
#245-9600 Cameron Street
Burnaby, BC, V3J 7N3
(604) 227-9990